Yash Chopra tenders apology; UP govt lifts ban on Aaja Nachle

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New Delhi/Mumbai, Dec 1 (UNI) Bollywood hit the headlines again when film 'Aaja Nachle' producer Yash Chopra today tendered an apology and decided to remove the objectionable portions of the title song's lyrics that whipped up a storm among the Dalit community.

Within hours, the Uttar Pradesh government lifted the ban on the film imposed yesterday after objections raised by Dalit leaders who had alleged the song had derogatory insinuations against the community.

''It was not our intention to hurt anybody. We have taken immediate steps to rectify the damage caused and have instructed all our distributors and exhibitors to delete the objectionable words from the song as of last night,'' Mr Chopra said in a statement in Mumbai.

He said, '' If we have inadvertently hurt the sentiments of anybody I apologise for the same and have taken immediate remedial action by deleting the line from the prints of Aaja Nachle from all over the country. This line has been deleted in all the theatres today.'' The issue also featured in the Lok Sabha today where the government declined to accept the demand for a nationwide ban on the film saying allowing the exhibition of a movie lies in the domain of state government.

Yesterday, the Uttar Pradesh government had stopped the exhibition of the flick with immediate effect and Chief Minister Mayawati had shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to ban the movie across the country, a request which the government declined to accept.

The state government had banned the Yashraj Banner film yesterday, on the day it was released in various multiplexes and cinema halls to packed houses.

But following the producer's assurance to remove the objectionable line from the song, the ban was lifted today.

Since the ban was imposed finding one line of the song as 'objectionable' and ' humiliating' to a particular caste, the undertaking from the producers about removing it was enough reason to lift the ban, Mr Shailesh Krishna the Principal Secretary to Ms Mayawati, told UNI this afternoon.

A day after the film's release, the Punjab government also slapped a ban on the venture.

Punjab Chief Minister's Media Advisor Harcharan Bains said the ban decision which comes into force with immediate effect, ''is dictated by considerations of safety of life and property of the people of the state''.

UNI

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